Orchard Brands Buys Crosstown

Multititle mailer Orchard Brands, a Golden Gate Capital company, last month agreed to buy most of the Crosstown Traders catalogs from Charming Shoppes.

Orchard Brands paid $35 million in cash for the Old Pueblo Traders, Bedford Fair, Willow Ridge, Lew Magram, Brownstone Studio, Intimate Appeal, Monterey Bay Clothing Co. and Coward Shoe titles.

The deal did not include food gifts cataloger Figi’s, which Charming Shoppes plans to sell separately.

The acquisition brings the $1.1 billion Orchard Brands a step closer to blanketing the 50+ women’s market. The eight Crosstown titles are a good fit with Orchard’s Appleseed’s, Blair, Draper’s & Damon’s, Gold Violin, Haband, Norm Thompson, Sahalie, Solutions, Tog Shop, and WinterSilks.

Crosstown Traders was formed when JPMorgan bought the Arizona Mail Order apparel catalogs and Figi’s from Federated Department Stores in 2002. Charming Shoppes paid $218 million when it bought the catalog portfolio from JPMorgan in 2005.

Why is Charming Shoppes selling at a loss just three years later? The postage and paper increases during the past two years have cut into the profitability of all catalog companies, says Stuart Rose, managing director for investment bank Tully & Holland. Charming may not have moved enough of its business to the Web to help its bottom line.

And the slowdown in the consumer markets didn’t help either, Rose says.

“Financing is so hard to get,” he says. “Especially for mid-priced companies.”

Charming Shoppes plans to focus on its Lane Bryant, Catherines and Fashion Bug brands. It mailed its first 112-page Lane Bryant catalog in October 2007, when it got back the trademark to that title from Redcats USA.

The company also in September agreed to sell its misses-apparel-catalog credit-card receivables for about $40 million in cash to Alliance Data Systems Corp.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.